Astros vs. Nationals World Series Game 1 Betting Odds, Picks & Preview: Will Scherzer Keep Up With Cole?


Brad Mills, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Max Scherzer

Oct 22, 2019, 06:00 PM EDT
  • The Astros are -195 favorites over the Nationals in Game 1 of the World Series.
  • The Over/Under is set at just 6.5 runs, so expect a pitchers' duel between Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer.
  • Sean Zerillo previews the game and shares his favorite bet for Washington at Houston:

Astros vs. Nationals Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions for World Series Game 1

Probable starters: Max Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA)

  • Nationals odds: +175
  • Astros odds:  -195
  • Over/Under:  6.5
  • First pitch:  8:08 p.m. ET on FOX

Odds as of Tuesday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals will meet in the 115th edition of the World Series, beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Houston.

This is the Astros’ third World Series appearance, including their 2017 championship, while the Nats are playing in the Fall Classic for the first time.

The AL West champion Astros won an MLB-best 107 games before eliminating the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees in the playoffs.

The NL Wild Card winning Nationals won 93 games despite ending May with a 24-33 record. They went 69-36 (65.7%) from June through September to clinch a playoff spot, upending the Brewers and Dodgers late in separate elimination games before sweeping the Cardinals in the NLCS.

Washington has perhaps the only team in rotation in baseball who can match up with Houston’s pitching in a seven-game series; as the teams will battle with All-Star caliber pitchers in Games 1-3 and, if necessary, 5-7.

Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole led their respective leagues in xFIP this year.

Can the Nats do what few other teams have done in 2019 and defeat Cole, who posted a 15-0 record with a 1.73 ERA from June through September, before allowing one run over 22.2 playoff innings?

The Starters

After allowing two home runs in the first two innings of the NL Wild Card game, Max Scherzer has settled into the 2019 playoffs – allowing one run over his past 18 innings, with seven walks against 25 strikeouts.

Scherzer missed some time in July and August with back and shoulder injuries, and he returned to post a 4.75 ERA (3.05 FIP) over his final seven starts.

He showed reduced pitch velocity (down about one mph) in August after returning from those injuries but has seen an increase towards midseason levels in October.

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